Jonathan Fallowfield was established in 1856 as a chemist. The business was purchased by F. W. Hindley in 1888 and was active until the 1950s. From the late 1880s the firm produced (or bought in) and retailed an extensive range of products.
Frank Miall took out three patents in 1889 for change-boxes. This first, patent number 4181 of 9 March 1889, described and showed the basic Facile camera holding two change-boxes and explained how exposed and unexposed plates were moved between them and described the simple segmental shutter. The later patents described in more detail the change-boxes. All were used in the original design. The Miall camera was offered circa 1890-1891 and had the appearance of a Gladstone bag with everything contained within. It's most celebrated user was the photographer Paul Martin.
The Facile camera was sold by Fallowfield from 1891 and made use of Miall's patents. The Facile dispensed with the leather Gladstone bag and contained the changing mechanism within a polished mahogany casing. The Photography Annual reported: 'The Facile caused considerable sensation upon its appearance as the price £3 3s) was certainly very low for such a capital instrument. And although a finder - one we admire muchly owing to its being well sunk - is now fitted, and the camera improved in various minor ways, the price is most moderate yet'. The review was illustrated by a photograph taken by Hindley.
Fallowfield's advertisment in the 1892 Amateur Photographer's Annual shows the Miall, Facile and Fallowfield (see following lot) hand cameras together. By 1902 this style of camera had stopped being advertised.